It is no surprise that pain, depression, and anxiety form a "terrible triad"--but now there’s proof, according to results from research presented1 at the 2010 US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress (Psych Congress). In 1 of 4 sessions on Treating the Whole Patient, Charles Raison, MD, spoke about the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders and the mind-body connection. He gave data on the causal effect between physical pain and emotional distress, as well as the importance of having social support to lessen pain (eg, fibromyalgia). Treatment strategies on diagnosing and managing patients from the perspective of wellness were also discussed. Clinicians can improve overall outcomes by focusing on an integrative approach of exercise, meditation, and psychotherapy for patients with comorbid pain, depression, and anxiety.
Dr Raison is associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and clinical director of the Mind-Body program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He is one of a team of Treating the Whole Patient presenters that also included Jon Draud, MS, MD; Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH; and Vladimir Maletic, MD, MS.